The Wild Story Behind The Most Infamous Lamborghini

There are some vehicles that are just instantly recognizable. Many of them come from the world of cinema, like the 1958 Plymouth Fury from "Christine," or the Mirthmobile from "Wayne's World," a 1976 AMC Pacer. Others just have a unique design — think a Volkswagen Beetle or a Plymouth Prowler. But there are a few that are known for having a history behind them, or a crazy story about a specific car that pops into your head whenever you see that model. It's not quite the same type of fame as the movies, but there are many car tales that are just as impactful.

This is the story of one such vehicle. Much like the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder that James Dean was driving when he died, or the 1993 Ford Bronco that will forever be associated with O.J. Simpson, there is a Lamborghini out there with an unbelievable, and morbid, story attached to it. It's a story based on internet rumors and hearsay, some unique funerary decisions, a very real person who tragically lost their life, and the incredibly rare supercar that got caught in the middle of it all.

The Lamborghini Murciélago

The supercar at the center of this story is a 2003 Lamborghini Murciélago. Considered the successor to the Diablo, the "Murci" was introduced to the world in 2001. It was the first Lamborghini launched after the company was taken over by Volkswakgen-Audi in 1998 and is considered one of the best Lamborghinis of all time, owing some of its popularity to its fresh and unique look. The design by Audi's Luc Donckerwolcke is thought of as the next step in Lamborghini's evolution from the Countach, to the Diablo, to the Murciélago. Its scissor doors and sharp angles are key features, and at the heart of this beast is a naturally aspirated 6.2 liter V12 engine.

Limited to a total production run of 4099 before the model was retired in 2010, the Lamborghini Murciélago has been seen in films ranging from "The Dark Knight" to "The Fate of the Furious," and was also featured on the cover of Electronic Arts' video game "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2." However, the Murci in question isn't just some cameo in a feature film or game. It was, for a short time, a casket.

[Featured image by FaceMePLS via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY 2.0]

The Dead Rapper Murciélago

This bright yellow Lamborghini with a red, black, and yellow interior earned its nickname by way of its former owner's funeral arrangements. In 2003, the owner of the Murciélago was Alexander Bernard Harris, a co-founder of the music label XELA Entertainment (not a rapper) who lived in Miami, according to the Miami Herald. He and his friend, Todd Green, were shot and killed while at a barber shop — Green had his one-year-old son with him, but he was unharmed, as were the other patrons of the shop. Their murders remain unsolved.

The families of Harris and Green decided to hold the friends' funerals together. Green was in a suit, in a traditional coffin. Harris, however, wasn't even inside the funeral home. He was seated in the driver seat of his Lamborghini just outside. The scissor doors were open, and he was dressed in a football jersey, jeans, a baseball cap, and sunglasses, positioned as though he was ready to speed off. A photo of the unique viewing made the rounds on the internet, and some quick assumptions of the aspiring music mogul in his nontraditional funeral clothes led to the car being nicknamed the "Dead Rapper Murciélago."

[Featured image by Damian Morys via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY 2.0]

Despite the rumors, this car wasn't buried with its owner

Part of the urban legend that now surrounds this Lamborghini Murciélago is that Mr. Harris was buried inside of it. A likely source of that rumor is that his daughter was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying, "He used to joke around a lot about how he loved it so much, he wanted to be buried in that car." However, a person claiming to have sold Harris the car posted on the internet forum that "...his widow quickly realized the financial consequences of burying him in it..." and he was instead buried in a $19,000 glass casket.

While the idea of burying someone inside a beloved vehicle is outlandish, it's not without precedent. The story of Sandra West, a Beverly Hills socialite, and wife of a Texas oil tycoon, is one of the most famous versions of this. She was buried, per her will, in the driver's seat of her 1964 powder blue Ferrari 330 America. She even went as far as to request her seat be "slanted comfortably." The car, and West, were buried in San Antonio, Texas, and covered in cement to discourage vandalism.

This unique Lamborghini had a hard time finding a new owner

The "Dead Rapper Murciélago" was sold after Harris' passing, but dealers and auctioneers had a difficult time finding a "forever home" for the unique Lamborghini. Considering only 442 Lamborghini Murciélagos were produced in 2003, even fewer with the Momo package — sometimes called the "Ronald McDonald" interior because of its bright red and yellow seats. Since an even smaller percentage of those had a manual transmission, one would think it would be easy to sell this rare supercar.

The title history of this vehicle shows seven new owners after Harris' family sold it, although that doesn't include dealers buying the Lamborghini at auction. It also doesn't mention the extensive work dealers put into trying to change the look of the Murciélago to attract buyers and obscure the vehicle's history — forums and a popular YouTube video mention seats and interior parts being replaced, and replaced again to the original livery. During that time, the Murci traveled all across the country, from Florida to New York, Texas, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Montana, doubling back through several of those stops.

The Dead Rapper Murci found the end of the road, for now

Enthusiasts continue to share the legend of the car's history, both as a unique collector car and as a temporary funeral viewing site. Unfortunately, many of those same fans spread many of the rumors that turned this story into the urban legend it is today — rumors that the owner was killed in the car, or that his unembalmed corpse sat in the sun for several days during the funeral, or even that it's cursed or haunted. They're the internet equivalent of campfire stories kids used to tell each other to scare themselves — fun, but not necessarily the kind of legends a car dealer selling six-digit supercars wants to be attached to his newest auction purchase.

According to service reports, the Lamborghini was purchased in Montana in 2021 and has had a couple of reported service visits since then. Perhaps the "Dead Rapper Murciélago," along with its wild history, can peacefully live out the rest of its days speeding under the big sky and over the open plains, or maybe only being displayed for the occasional car show.

[Featured image by Damian Morys via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY 2.0]